How do we know that cats are not in a state of constant contemplation, graceful, purring Buddhas, St. Francis with paws, always aware of the present moment, being all awareness itself aware? How do we know that every shimmy of grass, each turn of a leaf, every errant bird call doesn’t splash into their naked awareness like a stone into a unruffled pool, and that the ripples of sound and sight do not gurgle through them like laughing bubbles in a stream?
How do we know that when a cat lopes in lightness or meditatively meanders it doesn’t caress each tiny variation in the ground with tender soft paws, and listen to them, as a man should listen to wind with his skin, cherishing their touch with earth?
How do we know that when a cat stretches it doesn’t feel a slow rise of yoga-sweet pleasure as each muscle yields, elongates, swells open and breathes?
How do we know that when a cat purrs it doesn’t feel silver shivers of ecstasy humming through every red cell of its body, melting it into a life-renewing relaxation in the naked presence of Life —and isn’t it possible that it sometimes slips in a sweet euphoria of peace into God’s bliss heaven to play with the eternal in dreams?
How do we know that when a cat hunts it isn’t in a state of constant prayer, a keen and constant anticipation that at any moment the object of its longing may appear? And how do we know that when it crunches the skull of a mouse and tastes brain juice and blood it doesn’t feel the same thrills we feel when enchanted by the succulent creations of some three star chef?
How do we know that when a mother cat licks its baby’s ears it doesn’t feel love’s holy warmth flooding every cell of its maternal body; and how do we know that when a kitten licks itself clean it doesn’t feel the freedom of the sky moving in its naked skin?
How do we know that when kittens play they are not exultant as God’s pure whimsy and that every pounce, twist and twirl is not a divine form of cat laughter?
How do we who have hidden our most sensitive, dreaming hearts in shells of abstract knowledge and numbed our most awake awareness in fear of further pain know anything at all?